The first draft of the 2019 operating budget was reviewed by council.
Though no increase to the property tax mill rate is expected for the coming year, a review of the water and sewer flat fee rates revealed recommended increases to these accounts.
According to CAO Michelle White’s report, at the current rate, the water account will end the year with a deficit of $25,430.
The recommended increase of $3 per month per utility account will bring that deficit down to $18,230.
While the amount collected for the sewer system has, up to now, closely matched the cost of operations, according to reports from Big Valley’s public works department, some valves between lagoon cells will need work, a significant build-up of cattails has developed around one of the cells and the lagoon has not been de-sludged in almost two decades.
A recommended increase of $2 per month to the flat rate fee toward the sewer account would facilitate setting funds aside to deal with some of these problems and ensure that the sewer system continues to operate efficiently in the years to come.
The recommended increases will result in a revenue increase of $7,200 to the water account and $4,800 to the sewer account.
Council will consider these increases with the second draft of the operating budget at the November council meeting.
Cannabis retail sales
Bylaw 839, the amendment to Land Use Bylaw 765 addressing cannabis retail sales passed third reading.
No written or verbal submissions were received at the public hearing.
Sandra Schell was acclaimed as mayor for a second term at Big Valley’s Oct. 25 organizational meeting.
Councillor Harry Nibourg was voted in to serve as deputy mayor.
Council appointments to the various board and committees were renewed for another year.
Remuneration, meeting and travel allowances were reviewed with council electing to maintain current compensation levels.
The annual fee for all councillors is $1,250. The full day rate (over four hours) for meeting attendance is $90. the half day rate (up to four hours) is $60. and mileage reimbursement is at $.50 per kilometre.
The organizational meeting was followed by the regular monthly meeting.